Hypertension and diabetes are a few factors that can lead to heart diseases. And this has became a common menace in India. In India, cardiovascular diseases are on the rise and the country could witness a shortage of cardiologists according to a recent report published in the Financial Express.
Heart disease is the worst killer of Indians, so you need to take extra care of your heart to prevent cardiovascular disease, which includes strokes and heart attacks.
You could definitely lower your risk of heart disease by eating certain foods every day. There is a great variety of vegetables and fruits that are good for your heart.
It is better to consume foods that are in their natural form, as they come from the ground, and they are termed as whole foods.
So, read on to know which food is good for your heart.
Salmon and other fatty fish such as mackerel and sardines are considered one of the heart-healthy foods. It's because they contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are shown to lower the risk of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and atherosclerosis, which is the plaque build-up in the arteries and it decreases triglycerides. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish twice a week.
Oatmeal is rich in soluble fibre which can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels. Oatmeal acts like a sponge in the digestive tract and soaks up all the cholesterol, and thus it is eliminated from the body and not absorbed into the bloodstream. It is best to avoid instant oatmeal, which contains added sugar and instead make your own oatmeal at home.
Blueberries, strawberries and other berries lower the risk of heart disease. In a study conducted, it showed that women who ate three servings of blueberries and strawberries a week had a 32 percent lower risk of heart attack compared to those who ate less. It is due to the compounds like anthocyanins, flavonoids, etc., present in blueberries that decrease blood pressure and help dilate blood vessels.
4. Dark Chocolate
Numerous studies have shown that dark chocolate may benefit your heart. Daily consumption of dark chocolate could reduce non-fatal heart attacks and stroke. Chocolates which are made up of at least 60 to 70 percent of cocoa are the ones that prevent cardiovascular disease. They contain flavonoids called polyphenols, which may help blood pressure, clotting and inflammation. Unfortunately, milk chocolates don't have much of these compounds when it comes to protecting your heart.
5. Citrus Fruits
High amounts of flavonoids found in oranges and grapefruit prevent cardiovascular disease. People who consume citrus fruits more often, especially women, have a 19 percent lower risk of ischaemic stroke, which is caused by a clot. Citrus fruits also contain high amounts of vitamin C, which has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease.
Potatoes are categorized as a starchy food, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you will shun them out completely. As long as potatoes aren't deep fried, they can be good for your heart. Potatoes are rich in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure, they also consist of fibre, which can lower the risk of heart disease.
Tomatoes are high in heart-healthy potassium and they are also a good source of antioxidants called lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that may help to get rid of the bad cholesterol, keep blood vessels open and lower the risk of heart attack. Tomatoes are low in calories and sugar as well.
Nuts include almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts and macadamia nuts, all of which contain fibre that promote heart health. Nuts also have high amounts of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower bad cholesterol. Studies show that people who consume nuts daily are leaner than people who do not.
9. Broccoli, Spinach & Kale
Green vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli provide an extra boost to your heart. These vegetables are high in carotenoids, which act as an antioxidant and free your body of potentially harmful compounds. They are high in fibre and contain a lot of minerals and vitamins and that's the reason they are considered to be super health-promoting foods.
Pomegranates contain heart-healthy antioxidants, including heart-promoting polyphenols and anthocyanins that may help reduce the hardening of arteries. Study found out that drinking pomegranate juice daily over three months showed improvements in blood flow to the heart. Pomegranates have shown abundant benefits for the cardiovascular system by preventing damage to the arterial walls and promoting healthy blood pressure levels.
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